Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy -  Of all holy works, the education of children is most holy*
   Never believe that a few caring people can not change the world,                                  for, indeed, that's all who ever have.                 Margaret Mead
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NOW
Between Summer Academy Sessions, come yourself, and please encourage your congregations, organizations and friends to join us at
 DISD's McShan Elementary School     8307 Meadow Road
for one-on-one refugee English tutoring starting September 18,
8am to 3pm Monday through Thursday each week during the coming school year.
To volunteer, email mcshanreads@gmail.com, won't you?
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MIRACLE AT MCSHAN!
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Dan Micciche - Great commentary by McShan Elementary School tutor Therese Tetzel in the Dallas Morning News, November 16, 2017:

This volunteer tutor program, with an army of over 100 volunteers led byDalene L Buhl,
helped McShan Elementary score the highest score out of 150 elementary schools on Dallas ISD's school effectiveness index. 
This accomplishment is even more remarkable because McShan, located in Vickery Meadow, has a large population of refugees.
Here's the article:

What 10 immigrant children taught this 61-year-old retiree


"I volunteered to teach K- through fourth-graders at a summer reading school. This was significant for a couple of reasons: I am a 61-year-old woman who never had children, and the only experience I've had in education was working as a reading tutor for an hour a week. I was assigned to a class of about 10 kids, all from immigrant families. They were between the ages of 6 and 10 and had varying degrees of skills in their heritage language, English and reading. That's right, unlike me, all of these children could speak multiple languages.
This reading program has a seven-year history and is well-organized, well-attended and, most important, well-intentioned. I went through a half-day orientation with about 50 others. My expectation was to teach the kids the way I had been taught, the good old American way! Also, my expectation was the kids would have a difficult time adapting to that method because it would be new to them.
Nevertheless, I threw myself in to try to help these children learn English and to read at the same time. Was I naïve.
Here is what I learned, or better yet, here's what the kids taught me:
Immigrant children are being taught the same American curriculum with all the customs, idiosyncrasies and inferences as U.S. children.
Yes, I know you probably think that's the right thing to do. But allow me to give you an example of this myth.
If 6-year-old Johnny went to the Congo and was trying to learn Swahili, would he understand the concept of International Francophonie Day, a Congolese holiday? Would Johnny be able to pass a test on the subject if the books were published in the Swahili language and culture? Oh, and the teacher speaks only Swahili.
Let's turn it around. Imagine you are a 10-year-old Ugandan immigrant struggling to learn English. If you were handed a book in English about Halloween and told you would be tested on the concept, how do you think you would do? By the way, all of the books are in English only. (The school where I tutored represented 34 languages.)
Children of immigrant parents are resilient, brave and well-behaved and have five times more to learn in the same time than children born in the U.S.
Imagine that at 6 years old, you are put on an airplane with or without people you know. You land in a foreign country, and you can't speak the language well. At some point you are taken to a school with hundreds of kids you don't know, and no one looks much like you. Your parent or guardian walks away. You can barely communicate with the teachers, let alone the other kids. You can't read the books or understand the instructions. On top of all that, it may be the middle of the school year. And yet you are expected to do as well as all the other kids and move to the next grade.
These kids show real bravery. And they do this while behaving politely and responding positively to the teacher.
Children of immigrant parents want their teachers to show a soft and caring side.
It's amazing how the students know whether we care. It shows in the way they look at us, in how they answer our questions and how they agree to continue to work in their handbooks for just a few more minutes when asked.
Instructing as though you were their grandparent can make a tremendous difference. I experienced this when a fifth-grade Ugandan girl whom I had tutored saw me at the summer reading group. She threw her arms around me on the first day and wouldn't let go. The grandparent approach really works.
Children of immigrant parents know more than me.
The kids and I were learning life lessons at the same time. It was humbling. I probably would have been defeated by this level of difficulty at such an early age. My vague ideas about the image and purpose of immigrants were dead wrong.
These kids are so much stronger, courageous and experienced in life than I could have imagined. While we as Americans espouse a philosophy of up-by-the-bootstraps, charge-ahead, hardworking attitude that leads directly to success, we have no idea what that means. These kids truly exemplify this ethos.
These kids are not prepared for what they are going to face in the schoolroom, but they want to be there. And their parents want them to be there. They have earned my respect and gratitude, and I can't wait for next summer's class."
Therese Tetzel is a retired marketing and sales professional. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. Email: dbs34@sbcglobal.net

HONORS

LEE MCSHAN JR. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAS EARNED THE #1 POSITION OF ALL 156 ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN THE SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS INDEX, WHICH TRANSLATES TO GREATEST IMPACT ON STUDENT GROWTH!
THANK YOU TO EACH OF OUR CARING READING HOMEROOM AND SUMMER READING ACADEMY TUTORS, MCSHAN FACULTY AND STAFF, DISD EDUCATION SPECIALISTS, AND ALL OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS! YOU HAVE A DIRECT IMPACT ON OUR CHILDREN ! YOU ARE TRANSFORMATIONAL!

If you have ever doubted the effect of community involvement on student outcomes, take a look at Lee McShan Jr. Elementary School in Vickery Meadow, which had the highest score on Dallas ISD's school effectiveness index out of 150 elementary schools.
One big reason for the school's success is Dalene L Buhl and the army of over 100 volunteers she has recruited to be reading tutors at the school. They have worked hand in hand with an outstanding team of educators led by Principal Dayanna Kelly.
McShan is one of the highest poverty schools in the district: 98 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged; it has a large refugee population; and 87 percent of the students at the school are English language learners. The "school effectiveness index" is a measure of performance of the school's effect on student outcomes by controlling for differences the school cannot control, such as socio-economic status, neighborhood characteristics, and prior-year academic levels. I have posted in the comments a Dallas Morning News Article from last year describing the volunteer program at McShan. Holly Hacker Thank you, Dalene and team! If you would like to volunteer at a Dallas ISD elementary school, go to this link: https://dallasisd.voly.org/causes/index.html
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VMSRA Legacy Student/Youth Leader and CONRAD HS Freshman
ALDO PADILLA
was named
VMSRA2017 (and youngest ever)
Youth Leader of the Year,
earning a $500 scholarship!
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And coming soon...
Recruiting Tutors, Youth Leaders and Assistant Youth Leaders
for VMSRA 2018

Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy
July 12 thru August 9
Jack Lowe Elementary, 7000 Holly Hill
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays only
7am to 12noon
Email VMSRA2018@gmail.com to volunteer

      Special thanks to DMN Education Reporter,         Holly Hacker

We enjoyed a splendid fall day during our first McShan Reading Homeroom Saturday School 
October 1st.  Take a peek, won't you?

https://goo.gl/photos/Pcv3vDSY1gvbfwsPA

We are grateful to each of you for your extraordinary underpinning of this valuable, collaborative effort among
our many community partners. 
With your continued support and guidance, 
we look forward to an even greater VMSRA 2018! 

Our FABULOUS VMSRA 2015 YOUTH LEADERS 
[Confession:  we goofed and did not take a 2016 group shot!  
Our group wouldn't fit on the staircase, anyway!]]

Youth Leaders 2014


The Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy (VMSRA) 
 instructs students during their traditional DISD Summer Break.
VMSRA brings together English reading and writing skills, and personal development in classroom discipline, independent work ethics, and self-confidence for good education.
Please register by going to our 
web page
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Anissa Hodo, Joan Gremont, Caitlyn Hodo - Youth Leader of the Year 2015, Dalene Buhl



 We are a volunteer staff of youth and adults.

Our Mission is to further Vickery Meadow students’ English reading and writing skills, and personal development in classroom discipline, independent work ethics, and self-confidence.  



To make a donation to Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy, please visit http://www.donorbridgetx.org/, please enter Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, then please hit the donation button. And THANK YOU!